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15 New Brunswick nursing homes join program to cut seniors’ antipsychotic drug use

Seniors at York Care Centre in Fredericton are among the first to take part in the program to reduce antipsychotic drug use. .
Seniors at York Care Centre in Fredericton are among the first to take part in the program to reduce antipsychotic drug use. . Adrienne South/Global News

More senior citizens across New Brunswick will soon be taking part in a national pilot program to reduce the amount of antipsychotic drugs administered in nursing homes.

Fifteen nursing homes across the province are jumping on board with the initiative, thanks to a $600,000 investment from the province.

“It means that for people who are suffering from dementia — for very elderly people suffering from dementia, that they will not be drugged as a first resort,” said Maureen O’Neil with the Canadian Foundation of Healthcare Improvement.

“People in the homes will be looking carefully at other ways of working with this so that they can have more enjoyment from life and they will not be chemically straight-jacketed”

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The pilot project was successfully launched at York Care Centre in Fredericton, where it was determined that 55 residents were taking the drugs unnecessarily.

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WATCH: A new study shows a reduction or elimination of antipsychotics for seniors can lead to a better quality of life

1 in 4 seniors in Canada are being given antipsychotic drugs without a proper diagnosis
1 in 4 seniors in Canada are being given antipsychotic drugs without a proper diagnosis

The government says that in 2013, New Brunswick’s rate of use of antipsychotic medication among seniors was two times the rest of the country.

The two-year program aims to improve quality of life for the seniors living in the homes, as well as to provide better care by taking people off unnecessary drugs.

It’s expected that the program will improve the lives of more than 100,000 people and save $5.2 billion in the health-care sector in the next 30 years.

The 15 nursing homes taking part in the project are:

  • Loch Lomond Villa – Saint John
  • Rocmaura – Saint John
  • Kings Way LifeCare Alliance – Saint John
  • Passamaquoddy Lodge – Saint Andrews
  • Drew Nursing Home – Sackville
  • Mount St. Joseph – Miramichi
  • Victoria Glen Manor – Perth Andover
  • Dalhousie Nursing Home – Dalhousie
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  • Villa Saint-Joseph – Tracadie
  • Foyer Sainte-Élizabeth – Baker-Brook
  • Résidences Lucien Saindon – Lamèque
  • Foyer Saint-Antoine – Saint-Antoine
  • Westford Nursing Home – Port Elgin
  • Thomas Hall-Shannex – Quispamsis
  • Pine Grove-  Fredericton
Fifteen nursing homes across the province are taking part in a pilot program to reduce the amount of antipsychotic medications given to senior citizens.
Fifteen nursing homes across the province are taking part in a pilot program to reduce the amount of antipsychotic medications given to senior citizens. Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement